High fuel costs and early Easter send Ryanair profit plummeting

Marion Dakers
STRIKES in France, soaring fuel costs and an earlier Easter have knocked quarterly profits at budget airline Ryanair.

The Irish firm yesterday posted a 21 per cent fall in profits after tax to €78m (£67.4m) for the three months to the end of June. Revenues rose five per cent to €1.34bn, while fuel costs rose six per cent.

The average fare fell four per cent, which the firm blamed on the Easter getaway falling in the previous quarter, putting comparisons with last year in an unfavourable light. But ancillary revenues such as Ryanair’s new reserved seating pushed revenues per passenger one per cent higher.

Ryanair added that yields on summer bookings have been weaker in recent weeks as a result of the warm weather in northern Europe keeping sun-seekers at home.

But the company maintained its forecast for earnings of €570m to €600m in the year to the end of March 2014, compared to last year’s record of €569m.

Analysts at Davy Research said the quarterly figures were in line with market forecasts.